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Father Dies Six Weeks After Fire That Claims His Son

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Chicago, ILThe image on YouTube of DJ Mixx Massacre Mike posing with his three-year-old son is heartbreaking when you realize that both are no longer with us, killed in a fire accident in Pilsen, located on the Lower West Side of Chicago. What is equally heartbreaking is that the video was put up soon after the fire, which killed the DJ's son Michael Cruz Jr. and severely injured his father. The YouTube video was both a tribute and a video "get well card" for the stricken father recovering in hospital.

Now, the video is in memoriam to them both, after Michael Cruz Sr., aka Mixx Massacre Mike, died of his injuries December 16, six weeks after the fire that killed his son. Cruz's wife Valerie Guerrero, a mother of five and pregnant with their sixth child, had delayed the funeral for young Michael Jr. in the hope that she could grieve with her husband together once he was released from the hospital.

According to the December 18 issue of the Chicago Tribune, the fire broke out November 6 about two hours after Guerrero had left for the Laundromat. While fire officials have not yet determined the cause of the blaze, it has been determined the fire started in the room where the three-year-old child was later found.

According to news reports, the fire, which has been ruled accidental, broke out on the afternoon of November 6 after Michael Cruz, 32, had gone downstairs from the family's second-floor apartment for some milk. Shortly thereafter two of Cruz's children were seen running from the home screaming. Cruz rushed back into the building and up to the second floor apartment to rescue two of his other children, who remained inside.

Apparently overcome by smoke, he was found unconscious lying beside his one-year-old daughter Caila, who was wrapped in blankets. Fire officials have determined the blankets likely saved the child from succumbing to the deadly affects of the smoke. Caila spent a few days in hospital, then was released.

Her father failed to regain consciousness following the November 6 fire accident, and died in hospital six weeks later. Now, Valerie Guerrero will have to juggle Christmas with a funeral for her husband and three-year-old son, who would often accompany his father to afternoon DJ gigs. Cruz would slip earphones on his son and dubbed him "DJ Baby Boy," the Tribune reported.

The three-flat building in the 1700 block of West Cullerton Street in Chicago was home to about 20 members of the extended Cruz family, the newspaper said. The ownership of the building was not reported, and it is unknown if a burn injury lawsuit—or one alleging needless fire death—may emerge once the cause of the fire is determined.


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